BA Classical Studies and Philosophy
|Typical offer||AAA–AAB | IB: 36–34 | BTEC: DDD|
Our Combined Honours programme Classical Studies and Philosophy connects the earliest branch of the humanities with the longest standing of the academic disciplines. A degree in Classics at Exeter enables you to understand an ancient world that has fundamentally impacted the society we live in today, whilst Philosophy sees you question the very essence of what we know.
In Classics, you’ll focus on Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece, which form the cornerstones of our modern Western civilisation. You will learn to interpret their language, literature, art and culture to unlock new ways of thinking and understand ancient history in context to current issues such as power, sexuality, ethics, migration, identity, magic, food, globalisation and religion. Not only will you emerge as an accomplished researcher, you will have a deep understanding of classical languages and the confidence to analyse, interpret and challenge traditional theories and concepts.
Exeter has one of the largest and most vibrant Classics and Ancient History departments in the country. Here, you join an open, friendly and dynamic community in which to live and study. Our highly-active Classics Society is run by students who organise a lively social and academic programme for you to take advantage of including; plays, balls, debates, film nights, museum visits and opportunities to travel abroad. In Classics, Exeter ranks 6th in the UK for research power and our world-class faculty staff give students the opportunity to become partners in their cutting-edge research projects. In addition, the University of Exeter ranked 5th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and The Complete University Guide 2020 for Classics and Ancient History.
In Philosophy you will broaden your studies to explore topics such as existence, knowledge, values, reason and mind. Philosophy, from the Greek philosophia literally translates as a ‘love of wisdom’ and during your time at Exeter you will engage with and challenge the ideas of some of history’s key thinkers from Aristotle, Plato, Kant, Marx and Descartes to Hume, Russell, Wittengenstein and Putnam. With the support of our enthusiastic staff you will learn to think rigorously, defend your views in a clear and consistent way, understand the why and what-for of different points of view and ultimately develop a sharp, analytical and open mind.
As with all our classically-based degrees, you will graduate with a solid foundation of transferable skills including; communication, persuasion, problem-solving, critical analysis and collaborative working. This will be reinforced by your new-found ability to analyse arguments, criticise texts, debate and write well-argued essays. Recent graduates are now working in areas such as finance, education, law, publishing and journalism with organisations like JP Morgan, the Department of Health, British Armed Forces, Waterstones and Accenture.
No previous knowledge of Latin or Greek is required.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The Classical Studies and Philosophy degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.
Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
Full module descriptions
For full module descriptions from previous years, please visit our student website.
Entry requirements 2020
AAA–AAB | IB: 36–34 | BTEC: DDD
International students should check details of our English language requirements
If your academic qualifications or English language skills do not meet our entry requirements our INTO University of Exeter centre offers a range of courses to help you reach the required language and academic standards.
International Foundation programmes
Preparation for entry to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree:
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
Our teaching makes full use of seminars, study groups and web-based learning. We integrate the latest approaches with traditional lectures to give you a varied and challenging programme. In the first two years, the teaching is via both formal lectures (usually 50-70 students) and discussion based seminar groups of around 12-18 students. All third-year teaching is through discussion-based seminar groups.
You’ll receive 10 contact hours per week with staff, both teaching time and with your personal tutor. You’re also expected to invest plenty of time in independent study and contact with your study-group (for example, in preparation for seminars). The exact amount of time spent working independently varies from module to module.
We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including the increasing use of interactive, computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes, as well as interact through activities such as discussion forums.
In addition to the teaching methods described above, there are many other opportunities for you to add to your overall experience in the department. We hold mini-conferences for some modules, where students can present papers to fellow students and staff, along with weekly research seminars and monthly Classical Association lectures, with talks from leading internal and external speakers. The student-run Classics Society organises events throughout the year. Recently they have organised vibrant debates, lectures and a peer-mentoring scheme for the ancient languages, for which they receive academic support. The department also publishes its own journal, Pegasus, and our students take an active role in writing and editing this publication.
Teaching that is inspired by research ensures that lectures are up-to-date and relevant to your studies. You will benefit from access to the latest thinking, equipment and resources. All staff teach third year options linked to their own interests, which include the study of ancient Greek Mythology, moral concepts in Latin literature, Greek inscriptions and ancient ideas of character, food, sex, politics and religion.
All students have a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
You will be assessed by coursework and exams in all your years of study. You must pass your first year modules in order to proceed, but your performance at this level does not count towards your final degree classification. In order to be eligible for ‘with Study Abroad’ you will need to attain an average of 60% or more in your first year. The assessments in the second year, year abroad (if applicable) and final year will contribute to your final degree classification. In most modules, you will be assessed as follows: in the first year 70 per cent exams and 30 per cent coursework; in the second year 60 per cent exams and 40 per cent coursework; and in the third year 50 per cent exams and 50 per cent coursework. If you study a three-year programme, assessments in the final two years both count towards your classification, and if you study a four-year programme then the final three years all contribute.
A degree in Classics and Ancient History will provide you with skills which are highly valuable to employers across many sectors. You will develop an advanced knowledge of other cultures, learning how to think logically and independently, to interpret and critique sources, to assess evaluate information and to communicate in a sophisticated way.
As a Classics and Ancient History graduate, you will have an array of different industries open to you, such as museum and heritage work, education, journalism, business, and law. Our recent graduates have since secured a variety of positions, such as:
- Editorial Assistant (Publishing)
- Marketing Executive
- PR Assistant
- Trainee Chartered Accountant
- Officer Cadet
A degree in Classics and Ancient History will put you in an excellent position to pursue postgraduate study after you have graduated. Our recent graduates have since enrolled on courses such as:
- MA History
- MA International Relations
- MSc Bioarchaeology
- MSc International Management
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- Msc Library and Information Studies
The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone, where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you.